2002 Godhra-riot accused campaign against Modi

December 8th, 2007 - 11:05 pm ICT by admin  

Godhra (Gujarat), Dec 7 (ANI): Former supporters of Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat, who were accused in the infamous 2002 Godhra riots case, have now become opponents of him alleging that the Chief Minister has let them down.
Citizens of Eral village in Godhra were hard-core supporters of Hindutva for more than two decades and had supported Modi in the last Assembly elections in the State.
Several people from the village have been convicted for killings during the riots. Eight people of a family, including Kaha Dada, 72, were sentenced for life and three others were imprisoned for three years.
Kaha Dada was an activist of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for over 40 years.
People of the village are not happy with the BJP and Modi, as they feel several of them were convicted for their role in the riots, despite their support for the Chief Minister and the party.
Interestingly, Kaha’s wife, Shantaben is contesting on the ticket of Uma Bharti’s Bharatiya Janashakti Party.
“We are fighting these elections for the cause of justice that has eluded Kaha Dada, who had worked for Vishwa Hindu Parishad. No leader has come forward to help him or his family. Modi and his cohorts are staying in palatial residences, but Kaha Dada despite being innocent is behind bars,” said Sharmishtha, a supporter of Shantaben.
“We have been subjected to atrocities, so I am contesting (in elections),” said Shantaben.
Others also blame Modi for neglecting them.
“My two innocent sons are in jail. Nobody from the BJP came forward to help us, so we will not support the BJP,” said Kashiben, a resident.
Accused of encouraging communal riots in 2002, in which up to 2,500 people, most of them Muslims, were killed, Modi swept Assembly elections later that year with an aggressive pro-Hindu and anti-Muslim campaign.
The riots followed an incident of the burning of train in Godhra in which 59 Hindu pilgrims were killed. (ANI)

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